OPN1 Project Update

Matt from OPN1 project provides an update on the lab work being performed while WCG was down

Hey everyone, Matt here with an update from the OPN1 science side. 

First, I wanted to thank all of the volunteers on behalf of the entire lab. With the amount of compute time all of you donated to our project,we've been incredibly busy during WCG downtime to test a wealth of hypotheses generated. While I wish WCG downtime was vacation time for all of us in the lab, in reality it's been crunch time as we try to work through all of the models you all have generated and gear up toward the reopening of the firehose of data that is the WCG.

While compute time is fast (it takes each of you less than a second to evaluate an individual molecule computationally), labwork is substantially slower. Since the grid has been offline, we have been focused on the analysis, and we've identified a number of compounds with good activity profiles. But confirming that activity, and validating the mode of action, take time, and it's an iterative process; sometimes you discover the wetlab (as we call biology labs) conditions you were running just don't answer the questions you were asking. But we're narrowing in on the types of data we would need to have the confidence to give you, and the broader scientific community, more details.

And gearing up doesn't just mean experimental work on the data you've already given us, it also involves lining up new targets, and new collaborators, for the next round. We've been happy to learn that Enamine is reopening their synthesis services after the war in Ukraine interruption, and we have a large number of collaborators ready to test any new hypotheses we generate. The next set of packages all of you will receive soon will be exploring new corners of chemical space against new viral targets, and we hope everything we've learned from the first round will inform an even more productive second round.

All of this is to say, while we know volunteers have been itching to get started again, from the perspective of the science this is perfectly timed, and we're excited to catch the next wave of data you send our way.